Red and Green Winter Wedding for $24K
Madison + David
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
- Venue: $8112 – $5400 base pay, $2390 for 5 additional hours and decor, $322 for linens
- Church costs: $400
- Ceremony Musicians: $750
- Bar: $4282.40
- Attire: Suit – $200; My dress, accessories, and hair and makeup were gifted to me by my mother
- Flowers: $711 – 1 bridal bouquet, a toss bouquet, a flower girl bouquet, 5 bridesmaids bouquets, 2 wrist corsages, 4 pin-on corsages, and 13 boutonnieres
- Photography: $3600
- Catering: $3424.55
- Wedding Cake: $40
- Bunditinis: $420
- Decor: $350 on things we won't reuse. There were some additional costs included for our cornhole board guest books, canvas prints, and the Christmas tree on the guest book. We don't include those in our cost, though, since we'll be using them in years to come.
- DJ: $1200 – $900 base with 3 additional hours
- Stationary: $471.20 – This includes all supplies for putting together invitations, address printing, and invitation printing services
- Save the dates: $197
Total Budget: $24,000
How many guests did you have?
We had about 160 guests.
How did you meet?
David and I originally met when we were in 3rd and 5th grade when my brother and I stayed after school with family friends who lived down the street from David's family. Other than that we didn't grow up with each other, but we knew about each other.
We reconnected my sophomore year of high school (his senior year) when a mutual friend spilled the beans about his crush on me (which I didn't believe). I not-so-subtly called him out in a Facebook post, and (thankfully) he caught it! And as they say, the rest is history.
What is your proposal story?
He had both of our families drive all the way to Enchanted Rock – a place we'd been wanting to go for a while! The original plan was to climb to the top, but the weather had other plans- rain and thunder all day. Enchanted Rock is a giant rock so climbing in the rain isn’t exactly an option.
David scrambled to come up with a plan “b” and luckily his brother still had cell service, so he texted David “the lake” and set the new plan in motion. We hiked to the spot and walked out to a little peninsula that has views of the rock. We had started taking a few pictures when David flipped the camera on the phone to the front-facing camera where I could see our families walking up behind them. When I turned back around David was on one knee!
Tell us about your wedding vision.
We chose NOAH'S because it was located close to the church we were getting married at and allowed us a lot of flexibility with vendors. We chose to add extra hours to allow us to get ready there in the morning, but their base rate was one of the best in the area!
Christmas has always been a huge deal in our household- people call my dad Clark Griswold- and I've always been so in love with the Christmas season. Everyone just seems so much happier and we all tend to have something we look forward to at that time of year be it vacation, time with family, etc. When David proposed, I knew I wanted a winter wedding.
I didn't want it to feel too over-the-top Christmas, so I used a color palette that matched the season but only put in small details that said Christmas- a Christmas tree for gifts to go under, holly on the signs, Christmas greens in my bouquet, etc. I wanted it to feel like the season without being Christmas morning.
David and I are not typically extravagant people, and I feel like the decor matched our personalities. We had glass bowls set on top wood slices filled with water, Christmas tree clippings and cranberries and topped with a floating candle on the guest tables and garland with berries in it on the head table. We wanted a guest book we'd be sure to use again, so we had everyone sign cornhole tables, and we had cards and gifts placed underneath a Christmas tree! I wanted it to be simple and homey and comfortable.
The decor set-up actually ended up a little different than I originally planned, but I love the way it all turned out! The hanging cake table was also so scary and so cool. It was an option from NOAH'S decor, and I loved the way it turned out.
Tell us about your attire choices.
We chose David's suit based on the color scheme. We wanted him to stand out against the groomsmen, so we decided to put him in a darker grey suit with an ivory tie to accent my dress. We found his Ralph Lauren suit at Macy's. The vest was a pain in the butt to find, though! The suit originally wasn't a 3-piece so he tried to get his tailor to make him one custom, but they couldn't match the fabric. We went back to Macy's to either find him a new suit or find a mismatched one, and they had a suit separate that I swear did not exist before that, but it matched perfectly.
I knew I wanted a long-sleeved A-line dress, so I told them that the second I went into the store. They suggested trying on dresses without sleeves as well since sleeves can be constructed in alterations, so I did. It was the third dress I tried on (9 in total) and I kept coming back to it. I loved the structure of it, the beadwork, and the sequins that were under the top layer. It was sparkly without being in your face and I was just in love. It originally had straps but not sleeves, so we ordered the lace appliques and illusion and I had them added in alterations at Prestige Tailors in Willowbrook.
I also have a rule where “If I can't wear Converse, I'm not going,” so I had my bridesmaid, Ruth, fix up a new pair of Converse for the big day!
I also love braiding my hair! I probably wore it braided for 3/4 of my freshman year of college, and my roommate, Jessica (also a bridesmaid), joked about me wearing it braided on my wedding day. Turns out I did! I wanted my hair and makeup to feel like myself, so I had fishtail braids to hold my hair half-back, curled it, and kept the makeup relatively natural so I wouldn't feel too overdone!
The pearls I wore were my something borrowed, and I loved that they matched the beading on my dress. If I could do it all over again, I would just put the whole thing on again!
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Photography was the most important to us because we knew the pictures would be some of the memories that lasted the longest. It was one of the things we spent the most on aside from the venue, and it was 100% worth it. I cannot stop looking at the amazing photos Amy took, and I can feel the same emotion in them just looking at them as I felt that day.
The food was our next priority. Our caterer was actually very reasonably priced, though, and the food was delicious, so I'd only consider the bundtinis as a splurge.
We skipped a groom's cake because we didn't feel it was really necessary. We also didn't get ceremony flowers because we were only in the church for ~2hrs in total. We saved a lot of money on delivery costs by asking close friends and family to help us pick up items the day-of. We also skipped videography because we didn't really think we'd go back and watch it all over and over again. The only reason I am on the fence about whether we should've had it or not is for reliving the reception!
What were your favorite parts of the day?
My absolute favorite part was our first dance. I was terrified and excited all at the same time. We practiced dancing so much because David was determined to have a great first dance. If you ask him, he'll tell you that my face just lights up whenever I'm being spun around a dance floor, so we watched Youtube videos and practice every day for like a month so he could get more comfortable on the dance floor. It was seriously the best time of my life.
David really enjoyed the wedding party pictures with the whole group! I would've never guessed that because he has never been a huge fan of taking posed pictures. His other favorite part was what he and the groomsmen called “conference calls” when they would slip off to the groom's suite at the venue to take a moment and have a drink together throughout the night.
I also really enjoyed our grand entrance which is amazing because I don't like being in front of a lot of people, but getting to officially be married after 9 years of dating was just so exciting!
It's hard to pick just a few favorite parts of the whole day. I loved just getting to see everyone and have fun celebrating! I don't think I've ever been to a party that was more fun! Our ring bearer told his mom we needed to have another wedding because it was so fun- my favorite feedback from the whole day.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
The flowers were chosen primarily by how they fit the color scheme. I had an idea of what I wanted, but I'm not very knowledgeable about florals, so I couldn't tell you any of the flowers we used except the roses (they're my favorite). Elizabeth Hall at H-E-B Blooms in East League City was amazing with the selection and made everything look perfect!
I wanted the girls' bouquets to stand out against their dresses, so they had primarily white bouquets while mine was more red, and I had Christmas greens to go with the theme!
Believe it or not, the biggest factor for the style of the wedding was the cranberries! It's the color I based the scheme off, and we started everything with the centerpieces!
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We went super simple with this! We knew we didn't need anything extravagant. We actually almost completely went without a cake in the first place! We ended up going to Sam's Club and placing an order for a two-tier cake (top tier vanilla and bottom chocolate) with “texture” and beaded borders. We used the leftover Christmas tree pieces and cranberries to decorate it in lieu of a cake topper.
What did you do for favors?
We put together hot chocolate bags as favors! It's one of our favorite drinks in the winter. We considered having a hot chocolate bar during the reception, but figured it wouldn't be as popular as the open bar, so we passed and used it as the idea for our favors!
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
All of our signs were made by me and a family friend. David cut the wood pieces and Christmas tree cuttings we used for the centerpieces, and my family helped me put together the hot chocolate favors, so basically the whole main decor and favors were DIY.
As far as personal touches, we had so many! We wanted the wedding to feel like it was “ours” instead of something that was expected as a wedding. We went for a comfort food theme. With pasta as the main dish. One of the appetizers we served was Tomato Basil Soup-tini's. We love a good grilled cheese with tomato-basil soup, so that was a must. David also loves Nothing Bundt Cakes, so instead of having a cake cut for everyone or a groom's cake, we ordered bunditinis for everyone!
We had cornhole available on the patio to keep guests entertained during any waiting time and throughout the reception because who doesn't love a little friendly competition? Our guest books were even cornhole boards!
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
In my wedding bouquet, I had both a rosary and a wedding band set that belonged and were given to me by my grandmother. They both made up my “something old.”
There's a follow-the-leader style dance that is common in Czech heritage that we incorporated into our reception. There's meaning in every part of it and you end up encircled by your family and friends while you have your first dance. It was the best turn out of any Grand March my family had seen and was so much fun!
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
- ASK FOR HELP. We didn't hire a coordinator aside from those that were provided for us by the venue, church, and through our DJ. Sometimes I wish I'd had somebody to communicate between all of them for times. I thought I could do it all myself, but I needed way more help that I thought I would. Even if you don't hire a coordinator, ask your friends or family for help. If I hadn't had David and my family for some of these things, I would've gone mad with all the decisions that need to be made!
- Make sure to take care of your health leading up to the big day! Sometime during the anticipation and anxiety in the weeks before, the lack or sleep due to planning and last minute to-do's, and a normal day-to-day life, I got a sinus infection that set in on my wedding day and ended up with a fever!
- Pick 3 things that need to happen for you to have a successful wedding day. Tell someone you trust, and MAKE SURE THEY HAPPEN. Nothing else will matter.
- ENJOY IT ALL. You only get to do this once (mostly), and you just spent however much of your life planning it! Enjoy your hard work!
Photography: amy maddox | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Noah's Event Venue | Event Planning: Premium Sound DJ | Floral: H-E-B Blooms | Stationery: OurFriendsEclectic | Wedding Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes | Hair: Sunny Hair and Makeup | Makeup: Sunny Hair and Makeup | Entertainment: Premium Sound | Bridal Salon: Brickhouse Bridal | Ties: Men's Warehouse | Bridesmaid Dresses: Brickhouse Bridal | Catering: MYLEIGH'S MORSELS | Other Services: BLUSH BY JESSICA WOFFORD | Wedding Dress: Martina Liana | Groom's Attire: Macys | Bride's Shoes: Converse | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Submitted via: Matchology